Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pidgin and GNOME3

GNOME3 comes with Telepathy/Empathy integration. However, I'm mainly a Pidgin user because Telepathy/Empathy lacks of per-account proxy settings. I always force my IMs to go through a proxy in VPN regardless where I am, but not for other apps, so telepathy/empathy is out of the equation.

Anyway , pidgin users who are like me, here is a little present for y'all.

Pidgin GNOME3 Integration Extension

Just copy the gnomeshell@pidgin.im folder into your ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/ and restart your gnome-shell.

The extension utilize pidgin's dbus API, so it'll need pidgin to be running. I only did some rough test with it only on my Fedora 15 machine, but I believe it should work ok everywhere else.

Now for me to get some sleep XD.

Update: For some reason unknown to me, my git repos dissappeared from fedorapeople.org/git. The code is now hosted here: https://github.com/kagesenshi/gnome-shell-extensions-pidgin. To install, create a pidgin@gnome-shell-extensions.gnome.org directory in ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions, copy the 2 files into it and restart gnome-shell. Sorry for the broken link.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Few days with GNOME3

So I've been on GNOME3 for a few days now. Liking it a lot except for the minor annoyance I mentioned back in my previous post.

I've got over the lack of blinking taskbar functionality as the new notification system works quite nice in filling that gap. However, I still feel the activity overview is an extra step too many to switch windows. Works nice during leisure, but a bit tiring during work.

Dock
When was looking through the gnome-shell-extensions git trying to understand how the gnome-shell javascript extension mechanism works, I found an extension called 'dock'. It basically brought the dash panel which appear at the left side of the activity overview to the desktop, so that its accessible outside of the overview screen.

The behavior is pretty much similar to the dash panel, left click to focus on application, right click to view a popup menu which allow you to open new window or select other existing windows.

It works quite ok to fill the gap the taskbar left behind, but I found the right click to select other window on a multi windowed app takes a bit of 'effort'. Also, the panel appear on the right side, which is a bit uncomfortable as other 'selector'/'menu' stuff are at the left side. So I modified it a bit to change the behavior to:
  • when icon is left-clicked, if application already selected, present the menu, else select the application.
  • smaller icons
  • appear on left side of the screen

It filled the gap the taskbar left behind quite well (for me at least), and will be using it until I become comfortable enough to use a workflow that works better with the overview screen.



System Monitor

As for the missing system monitor, conky filled the gap just nice :)



Get the conkyrc here

Wishlist

There's still one item that I missed from GNOME2, namely the hamster-applet and the international clock. Another thing I would want to see is a pidgin integration extension with the gnome-shell chat system. Telepathy still lacks of proxy support while all my messenger account go through a proxy on VPN.

I'm not familiar with DBus programming and still having very little idea on how to work with the GNOME-JS stuff. Not sure when the features will be available, probably I need to learn DBus/GJS someday if nobody building em.

Update: as requested by a commenter, here are the patch to the dock's extensions.js and the conkyrc used